Creamy Chicken Casserole

Even though we have sun, it is a TAD chilly out there in the mornings and evenings. For me, that screams FALL and one pot meals like casseroles, chili, soup, big roasts, etc.

And, side sass here. “Casserole.” I want to come up with a new name  for this beautiful one pot meal. Why? I think of or say ‘casserole’ and go back to my childhood tuna casserole days (anyone else remember that?) and that’s not a good time for me. I think we had it way too much – and I was burned out on casserole in general for 2.5 decades. Yes, 25 years. I need to let this stuff go.

Anyhoo, Juli Bauer did it again. Have I mentioned I love her site, her food, her humor, and the fact that she’s doing a cookbook? Can’t wait to get it (I’m counting down the months – April 2013. 🙂

Here’s the original recipe (and below), my mods in [xxx]. You may want to make a double batch – this is REALLY good the next day for lunch.


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  • 1.5-2lbs chicken thighs, excess fat removed, diced [mix of dark and light meat, or make it easy on yourself for a weeknight and get a rotisserie chicken]
  • 5 medium heads of broccoli, stems removed, chopped into florets [I had two small – medium heads of broc – this worked out just fine!]
  • 1 head of cauliflower, stem removed, chopped into florets [yep]
  • 1 container of sliced mushrooms [yep]
  • [1 bag frozen peas]
  • 1 yellow onion, diced [yep]
  • 1 garlic clove minced [x3]
  • 2 (14oz) cans of coconut milk [1 can. Two seemed like A LOT to me, BUT, it all depends on how saucy you like your stuff. One worked well]…
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder [3 tsp]
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika [2 tsp…I love paprika]
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper [1 tsp]
  • salt and pepper to taste [yep]
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or other fat) [used olive the whole way]
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat (or other fat)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place your cauliflower and broccoli florets in a 9×12 glass baking dish. Pour your olive oil on top
of the florets and salt and pepper, as well. Mix around to coat the florets.

3. Baking for 15-18 minutes or until your broccoli and cauliflower have a slightly darker color to

4. While your florets are cooking, place a large skillet over high heat and add your bacon fat. [you
can use olive oil…I had just cooked bacon so decided to use a bit of the fat from that]

5. Once skillet is very hot, add your chicken. You want your skillet to be very hot so you will get a
nice sear to your chicken. [yes, this looks and smells yummy]

6. Salt and pepper your chicken while it cooks in your pan.

7. Cook on both sides for 4-5 minutes, depending on how small you diced your chicken.

8. Once chicken is ALMOST cooked through, remove from pan and place either on a plate or
directly into your baking dish with your florets if that has come out of the oven.

9. Now add your minced garlic directly to your pan that is placed under medium heat now.

10. Then add your diced onions in. Cook until translucent.

11. Then add your coconut milk and vegetable broth, as well as your garlic powder, smoked paprika,
cayenne pepper, and a bit of salt and pepper and mix well.

12. [Once heated through, I then added a bag of frozen peas…warmed that through and added my

13. Once it is all thoroughly combined, pour directly onto your chicken, broccoli, and cauliflower
dish. [yes]

14. Now toss in your mushrooms.

15. Add in a bit more salt and pepper.

16. Mix it all together into one large mess.

17. [sprinkle paprika on top]

18. Bake for 20-22 minutes.

19. Let cool to help the sauce thicken. [by cooking the sauce above like I did, I reduced it there – just
another way to do things. I also let it cool because it’s too freaking hot to eat]

20. Eat. [like there’s no tomorrow]


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I'm a personal trainer, coach, CrossFitter, food lover, terrible singer, step-monster, wife, amateur chef, and coffee & tequila addicted. And we've just scratched the surface.

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